The two lines would likely pass through seats in the west of the city that are considered Labor core areas, including Granville, Prospect, Cabramatta and Leppington.
But the NSW Labor agent who became Fairfield’s popular independent mayor, Frank Carbone, said he was disappointed with Labour’s decision, claiming the party “prioritised fringe seats at our expense”.
“The council has worked hard for six years on the proposal, which would connect our residents and millions of others from the second airport, our city, Westmead, Parramatta and Sydney through a high-speed transport network,” he wrote on Facebook.
Considering a tilt in the March 25 state election, Carbone would pose a major threat to Labor if he takes on his former party in Cabramatta and field an independent candidate in the Fairfield seat.
Despite the political benefits of building the metro between Parramatta and the new airport, transport bureaucrats have internally questioned the cost-benefit ratio of the project.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen said the government was re-announcing future metro projects promised by former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian in the 2019 election.
Haylen said it was Perrottet’s realm to criticize Labor for not going ahead with the second phase of the Southwest Metro when his government had been unable to complete the first.
“The first phase of Metro Southwest is in danger of being canceled – it’s time for Dominic Perrottet to clarify his plans,” she said. “It would be a huge waste of taxpayers’ money to start phase two when phase one is about to be canceled altogether.”
The government has already delayed the conversion of the Sydenham to Bankstown line on the Southwest Metro for a year, while the Herald revealed last year that the entire project had blown up by $6 billion.
Perrottet on Monday ruled out future privatization of Sydney Water, although earlier this month he pointed to the integral role the government’s privatization of public assets had played in financing the $116 billion infrastructure pipeline.
He said 60 percent of the current pipeline was already debt-funded.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights of the day. Register here.